21st March 2009

(Part of the Tango Fusion collection of articles.)

"A Tigger who bounced, if he bounced at all, in just the beautiful way a Tigger ought to bounce" ~ The House at Pooh Corner - When Tigger is unbounced

Dancing with women who bounce (their hands)

Some Modern Jivers bounce their hands a lot when they dance. Some do it to keep the beat. Some wave their hands around as a style point.

If you can keep them in embrace you'll mitigate the bouncing a lot. The hand-waving seems to occur if you do steps in place eg manhattens. If you stay in motion it's significantly reduced.

Blues transitions

Certain moves let you do hand placements more easily and slowly. The obvious example is a Blues Basic where you can take all the time in the world to collect her hand.

Simply don't dance any moves that involve having to catch the lady's hand normally. Do ones where you get longer and literally collect / place the lady's hand in your own

So to change from

  • LH to 2H - first move manhatten and simply pick up her RH from the frame
  • RH to crossed 2H - Sway, pick up left hand, accordian
  • RH to normal 2H - Sway, pick up left hand, accordian, Halleluiah of choice
  • 2H to LH - let go with RH
  • 2H to RH - let go RH, neckbreak
  • RH to LH - Slo comb
  • LH to RH - neckbreak

Obviously there's others, but these seem to work well

Dancing with women who take too large a step-back

Musicality is the key. Just let the music dictate the ebb and flow of her momentum rather than actually trying to control it. Match the moves to the phrases of the music and it becomes a lot clearer how far they're going and when they're going to stop.

Dancing with yankers

The first huge benefit of dancing a tango fusion is that you're fairly safe in the various embraces. Likewise tango fusion moves tend to be based around the dancers staying closer and following each other rather than seperating, so you're off to a good start.

But say you actually want to lead moves where you do separate out, then what?

Have a look at this nice lady - she represents the evil dancer who is going to spend the next 3 minutes trying to rip your arms out of your sockets...

The red line represents her central axis. The good news is that this isn't going to change.

The yellow and green lines represent the borders of her frame. Simply put, if her hand is between the central axis and the outside line she can yank your arm. Move her hand to outside either of these lines as shown by the pink arrows and she can't yank your hand any more. The joys of body mechanics.

A side effect of this is you will most likely end up dancing circular rather than slotted, but it's a small price to pay.

- Christopher O'Shea, 21st March 2009

Related articles